Government should get users on board for NHS IT, say suppliers

The government needs to get user buy-in if its ambitious plan to overhaul NHS IT is to succeed, according to executives at...

The government needs to get user buy-in if its ambitious plan to overhaul NHS IT is to succeed, according to executives at systems integration giant Lockheed Martin, one of the prospective suppliers for the national programme.

Joan Adams, director of healthcare solutions at Lockheed Martin, said, "We work using integrated product teams in the development process, and the customer is a part of these teams."

Jeremy Nettle, the company's UK business development manager for civil solutions, said end-users on the integrated product teams could range from nurses and clinicians to senior Department of Health officials.

He said, "These teams will enable the strategic health authorities to deliver key elements of the national programme, which is about improving patient care."

The company has registered its interest in forming consortia working in all three categories for suppliers of the national programme. These include local service providers, national infrastructure service providers and national application service providers.

Adams refused to be daunted by the scale of the national programme, which promises to be the largest IT project ever seen in the UK.

She said, "The scale does not intimidate us because we are used to dealing with projects of this size."

Lockheed Martin, which is currently delivering an IT infrastructure project for the US Air Force, recently won a contract to provide an electronic health record for the Canadian armed forces.

Nettle said, "We have a systems integration methodology that works across healthcare, government and the commercial sectors that starts with the customer's expectations."

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